mofette: (New Fringe)
I don’t think I can remember a day that this happened, just that eventually, the circumstances were too much to take.

I’ve always been pretty skeptical / suspicious of things I cannot understand, or see or feel so I wasn’t that old. I think the fact that a tube of giant Fruit Pastilles came from Santa each year was a nice touch, and that continued until I left the house for good.

I remember a friend’s sister still believed in Santa at high school. We were both mortified that she believed and would be mocked, but simultaneously didn’t want to tell her, for fear of breaking her heart. I don’t remember how that ended…
mofette: (New Fringe)
Oh I have not! Not as such anyway, but I do have one terrible habit...

...looking at the purchased items on Amazon.

It's so bad, when I notice something is missing, I try so hard to not go look what it is, but there they are, in black and white telling me what's been bought.

So like any responsible person, whenever I notice something's missing, I tell [livejournal.com profile] milfos to go and log in as me and delete them.

BOOM
mofette: (New Fringe)
We still don't have a typical, so I'll have to try and tell you what I'd like.

My friends, all curled up and warm on sofas with blankets and our legs up off the ground, with a terrible Christmas movie or two on the TV, mulled wine in the slow cooker and maybe even some egg-nog.

A snowball fight in the wee hours, along with a giant snowcock or two, and a glass of Chantemelle at midnight :)
mofette: (New Fringe)


and I HATE My Chemical Romance, but this cover is hillarious :D
mofette: (New Fringe)
OH LORD IT'S MY FAVOURITE THING!!!

Ok, I seem to be telling you that EVERYTHING about Christmas is my favourite, but oh man do I love the day I wrap presents!

I always get coordinated paper and ribbon, and I've already got my tags made. I make sure they all go together and match with my tree. Then I sit and wrap them while watching Home Alone.

Crisp corners, lined up patterns, all neat and tidy and OMG I wish I was sending presents this year :(
mofette: (New Fringe)
Nope, never have. We're in such dire financial straights right now that we can't and maybe one day we will, but not for the forseeable.

If I could, it would probably be with volunteering rather than money.
mofette: (New Fringe)
Watching Elf while putting up decorations

Buying the year's Swarovski decoration

Seeing family on Boxing Day

Drinks in the house on Christmas Eve

My Christmas haircut! <3
mofette: (New Fringe)
YULE LOG!!! FUCK YEAH

too much sugar, too much chocolate, YULE LOG!!

We've never really had it at our house. Next year, it's mine!
mofette: (New Fringe)
I don't know if it's too much of a memory, or indeed a favourite, but I remember one Christmas (maybe boxing day) we had Grandma Rippon to stay, and Granddad Lowther and Grandma Lowther came round. And all my grandparents I'd known were there, and we all sat around together. And now both my Grandmas aren't here any more.

Here they are! L>R My mum's legs, Auntie Gwynne, Grandma Rippon, Grandma Lowther

img293
mofette: (New Fringe)
Elf! Hands down it's Elf. Or maybe Home Alone? Oh dear it's actually quite tough!

No, Elf. I watch it every year while putting up the tree, and this Sunday will be no exception as [livejournal.com profile] milfos helps me and watches it for his first time.
mofette: (New Fringe)
Oh man, this is a hard one!

Christmas Mythbusters! Or Christmas Simpsons!!

Mythbusters did some great stories, like "Can you set a christmas tree on fire with lights" but then again The Simpsons do great novelty introductions and themed stories.

I think I'll go with Mythbusters though. Nothing like blowing stuff up!
mofette: (New Fringe)
Christmas 2004 I got [livejournal.com profile] milfos the giant Unicron thanks to a helpful friend posting it down from Sheffield Toys R Us.

http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Image:TF2010toy-Unicron.jpg

He still goes on about how awesome this was, and I'm still proud I managed to get it for an absolute steal. This years presents still pale in comparison!
mofette: (New Fringe)
1991/1992 I received the Sindy Makeup Counter.

http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/sindy-vintage-make-counter-boxed-167746874

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=121033124888&clk_rvr_id=420421107004

This thing was THE SHIT. It had perfume bottles, a working till, little presents, gift bags, allsorts. It came with its own makeup and was the absolute bomb, it was just a shame that it took so long to set up, and if you moved it at all, all the things you'd set up would fall over.
mofette: (New Fringe)
Christmas 2009, we had Amy and Gary our best friends over on Christmas eve, we drank shit sparkly plonk, we watched christmas episodes of Mythbusters and we just chilled out. Then when it neared midnight we went out in the snow and made a giant snow penis, followed by having a massive snowball fight.

Milf unfortunately had to work some of Christmas day, so he went to work, while I went to [livejournal.com profile] maviscruet's house for some pig in a bun. Then I came home, smiling and saying Merry Christmas at everyone on the way and we snuggled up together to watch some Christmas Simpsons and stuff.

I really like Christmas!
mofette: (New Fringe)
Day 01- Post an audio of one of your favourite Christmas songs
Day 02- Which has been your favourite Christmas of all time?
Day 03- Best gift ever received
Day 04- Best gift ever given
Day 05- Favourite Christmas television
Day 06- Favourite Christmas film
Day 07- Favourite memory
Day 08- A holiday dessert of your choosing.
Day 09- Best holiday traditions.
Day 10- Do you give to charities or other people around the holidays? Which is your cause of choice?
Day 11- Are you any good at wrapping presents? Describe a gift wrapped by you.
Day 12- Another audio of a favorite Christmas song/carol
Day 13- Describe your typical Christmas Eve
Day 14- Ever sneaked a peak at a gift?
Day 15- Do you still believe in Santa Clause? If no, how did you find out he was fake?
Day 16- Favourite Christmas book.
Day 17- Describe your first Christmas memory.
Day 18- If you could spend the holiday any place in the entire world, with whomever you wanted, where would yyu be and who would you be with?
Day 19- Who is the most enthusiastic about the holiday season in your family?
Day 20- You have one Christmas wish. What is it?
Day 21- A detailed explanation of what your house looks like on December 25th.
Day 22- Name all nine reindeer without using a search engine.
Day 23- What is your absolute favorite part of the holidays? Only one.
Day 24- Why is Christmas important to you?
Day 25- Describe your day. Merry Christmas (:
mofette: (Default)
We decided to arrive really early into Kobe, so that we could go on to see some sights further down the train line. We walked to the hotel, all too easily due to Google maps, and they gladly took our luggage, and let us go back out for the day.

We travelled on the train to Hikone, one of only 8 original castles still standing in Japan (We wanted to go to Himeji, but it is currently under a massive tent for conservation work). As we got to Hikone, it was still really early, and the weather was a bit rainy, so there weren’t many people around. The walk down to the castle was quiet – all the shops and restaurants hadn’t opened yet, thwarting our plan of eating breakfast on the way over! When we arrived, the castle was in quite a large piece of land, surrounded by a moat.

Hikone castle is quite a humble structure, it doesn’t impose over the surrounding land like others, and you could be forgiven for not seeing it! The winding entrance road to the castle is still there, taking you past little windows for arrows and chutes for boiling oil! There are a lot of steps too, and after having climbed Mount Misen, that was tough, we were still aching! As we climbed the steps it became evident that the age group of the visitors was slightly different to anything we were used to – most people visiting were OAPs!

Once we got to the top of the keep, it was so worth it! The castle was amazing. We entered through the side and took our shoes off, placing them in a plastic bag to save the wooden floors inside. We wandered through, looking at the views through the tiny windows of Hikone. Once we got to the main building, all the crowds came to a stop, and we queued to get to the top level. The stairs were almost a ladder at this point, and to stop it from getting too crowded up there, we had to wait.

All in all there wasn’t a lot to see, the windows had chicken wire on them and there wasn’t any replica rooms or anything, just bare floorboards and walls and a lot of people queuing.

On the way back down to the museum, there was a guide dressed as Hikone-nyan. Hikone-nyan is a cat, dressed in the helmet from the samurai armour in the castle. He’s really cute and I was getting a bit giddy, so I asked him for a hug and he obliged, much to the amusement of several school kids nearby!

We went to the museum, and as we had been warned, there wasn’t anything in English. I picked up one of the Japanese leaflets in each room, intending to do some translating, but as Edwardscissors knows, my translating is a SLOW business :( When we walked around, it turned out that a better version of Hikone-nyan was going to be in a little meeting session in 15 minutes, so we bombed round the final part and stood in the queue to join 50 other people watching some guy in a suit dance around and pretend to be a cat! I videoed the whole performance, which was as tooth-rottingly cute as you’d think it would be, but once we finished, it turned out that the camera wasn’t on :(

When we got outside, we played peek-a-boo with a small child, who as normal was scared of the huge western devils, and then took ourselves back through the town to the station. We again tried to get something to eat, but we couldn’t decide, so made an executive decision to grab some snacks from the convenience store underneath the station, and then eat proper once we were back in Kobe.

Once back in Kobe, we checked into the hotel properly, and grabbed all these tiny little moo-card sized money off vouchers from the lobby, and started properly looking into eating Kobe beef in Kobe.

Throughout our stay, people had asked where we were going, and when we’d told them Kobe, they had always asked why. When we explained that we wanted to eat Kobe beef, they explained that we could eat it anywhere, and it would be just as good. We looked at reviews online, checked the vouchers we had and decided on 2 restaurants. We took the train down to the city and wandered around, looking for these restaurants to no avail. We were in the dodgiest parts of Kobe, with no idea what we were looking for! We also had no cash for today, so we were looking for someone that took credit cards (which isn’t many places in Japan) as the ATMS were shut as it was Sunday!

Add to this the fact that it was tipping it down with rain, and we had a couple of minor arguments, finally accepting that Japanese beef would be awesome anywhere, and we couldn’t really justify spending a hundred quid on dinner. We decided to go to a little izakaya that we’d seen on the way around in the morning that had offered beer at &jpy;200! We walked in, took off our shoes and put them in a locker, and went upstairs.

Mostly we were left alone here which was nice – I had my tattoos out and I heard a couple of mutters, but we sat and drank, before I decided finally to try a sukiyaki! I’d never had one before in all the times I’d been to Japan, so once I saw one on the menu, I asked the nice waiter how to do it, and we ate gyoza and actually some Kobe beef until we were stuffed!
mofette: (Default)
When we woke up, we found a care package we'd been able to purchase the night before in an amazingly drunken state! We sat around the TV in the hotel room 'til about 4pm mustering up the courage to go outside, when we looked for our shoes to go to the shop we found we'd already bought exactly what our hangover would be asking for! Pocari Sweat, inari sushi and some cheese strings! After a couple more hours of recuperation, we once again wandered out into the streets of Hiroshima. We knew the temple down the road was having a small festival to ask people to donate money, so we went down to sample some of the delicacies they had to offer.

The whole street was filled with red and white tented stalls, each one offering their own version of the very limited types of food. There was takoyaki (octopus in dough balls), octopus or squid on skewers, taiyaki (red bean cake things), pancake roll versions of okonomiyaki and some games stalls. I had my tattoo on display, so was causing quite a stir, the younger boys at one of the octopus stands giving me a really good look! We ate some things here and there, and took a slow walk back to the hotel, calling at a convenience store on the way back to pick up some beers.

The next morning, we woke up early to get the train down to the docks. We were off to Miyajima for the day, and we wanted to make sure we saw the Torii at high tide and low tide. We arrived at the dock, and took the JR ferry over to the island. We had been once before, so it wasn't new to us, but damn if it isn't the most beautiful place on earth! We wandered up past the temple, having seen it all and after our night of excess we were quite reluctant to spend any more money than we had to, so we walked behind it, through some Japanese style inns and to a park where the mountain trails started. Richard had decided that we were going to climb Mount Misen, being that it was reccomended on the internet and there was leaflets that suggested the routes you could take which MUST mean that it was totally do-able. At the park there was 3 options; Easy Medium or Hard. Obviously the easier the course the longer it took, so we went for the easy course, Momojidani, and started our ascent of the mountain.

At the bottom we met some schoolkids who were making their way back. They all seemed either drunk or high, and one of the lads had his jeans pulled down under his bum, showing off his pink leopard print pants! Turning to laugh at him as he pulled his jeans down further, I fell down a hole and laddered my leggings :( The climb up the mountain was horrible. It took us 2 hours of climbing stairs, with around 10 arguments up the hill to get to the top. Physically and mentally knackering! The view from the top was spectacular, as was the scenery on the way up, unfortunately I was in too much of a foul mood to notice it! Once we got to the top, Richard had decided his fear of Cable Cars wasn't worth angering me any more, so we looked at the price of getting a cable car back down. Turns out it was &jpy;1000!!! That's like a tenner, each! So we walked back down the mountain.

On the way up, we'd been accosted by a Japanese man who was running up and down. He explained that he did it twice a day and that this kept him fit and healthy. He gave me a "Yokoso Japan" pin badge, and chatted for a bit, before running off. On his way down we were near the top, so we took photos, and then on the way down again he caught up with us once again near the bottom. We chatted for quite a while, about football, beer, our jobs and our wedding, before he trotted off in his lycra back to his home. Turned out he ran that twice a week!

Once back in Hiroshima I got a massive hankering for sushi, so we asked at an information desk where the nearest one was. Unfortunatley it was a really expensive one in a massive mall and we couldn't afford to eat there, so we went up to the level that had more food on it and went to a little place called The Don. I hadn't had Donburi in years, so I was really happy with that. They even served beer, so we relaxed, ate some rice and meat and chatted. It was nice for a change to be somewhere were we wern't being bothered, and we could just be in each other's company, without having to read any Japanese (it becomes really hard work sometimes) or speak it, and without people constantly staring or talking to us. Afterwards we took a slow walk through the city, going in a few 100yen stores to buy tat, and picking up a couple of souvenirs here and there.

The next day we got up as early as we could, and via a combini for breakfast, we walked down to the Peace Museum. It opened at 8am and we wanted to do plenty in the whole day, so we started there at opening time. It wasn't the easiest museum to look through; no cool swords or suits of armour. There was clothes that people were wearing when the bomb went off in Hiroshima, covered in blood and ripped right through. It didn't leave much to the imagination, other than the brutality of the situation. There are no words that adequately explain how you feel after visiting - it wasn't enjoyable, or even 'interesting' feels like the wrong word. After this, we sat in the peace garden and chilled out for a little while, before walking past the A-Bomb Dome.

I know we'd been there before and taken a ton of photos, but I just couldn't resist it again. It was another beautiful day, peaceful blue skies contrasting against the bleack concrete and steel structure that stood, skeletal in defiance.

We walked for about 15 minutes, towards the reconstruction of Hiroshima castle. I'm not usually one for reconstructions, they are a big concrete mess, and the displays inside very rarely have any English f0r the exhibits, but Hiroshima doesn't really have the chance to have anything original any more, so concrete mess it was.

When we got to the grounds, there was a LOT of people there. It turned out we had decided to visit on the first day of an annual food festival! There was well over 200 stalls, each showcasing a restaurant from the local area. Anything you could think of to eat or drink, it was there - KFC included! Poor Richard could only stand and stare as I went a bit mental - my absolute favourite thing about Japan is the food. My eyes darted from stall to stall, searching for lunch as I really didn't want to end up having something that I could eat elsewhere. We settled on a stall that had some sweet potato fries, and deep fried Octopus. After we got a couple of beers, we settled down on the grass to watch the entertainment.

The first thing we saw, was some young girls, dancing to 'Hip-Hop'. Unfortunatley the song they had chosen was littered with the "N****R" word, and a LOT of swearing! We were desperate not to crack up laughing, and it seemed to go on forever. The dancing was very good though! We sat on the grass and finished our beers and headed off to the castle.

It was completely as we expected - no English translations, lots of reproductions of Samurai armour and a lot of stairs. It was worth it though, as we went up to the top level and took a lot of panoramic photographs of the entire area. Some people were taking a boat ride on the moat, and they waved up to us! We got a keyring with our names and the castle's picture on us, and headed back out to shop.

On the way home, we wandered through the shops, looking for a place to have a drunk, and came across a small izakaya where we entered, and I straight out said "we don't want to eat, we just want to drink" - this was no problem apparently, so we sat down and ordered some beers. Well, they probably knew this would happen, but we ended up ordering some chips and gyoza anyway! There was a lot of memorabilia on the walls for the local baseball team, and we chilled out and relaxed. We were off to Kobe the next morning, and we'd not been there before so we were quite nervous so we packed our luggage as we got home ready.
mofette: (Baby Mofette)
The next morning we awoke with angry badger heads ready for a train journey to Hiroshima. We packed up our belongings, left the hotel and went to Mos Burger next door. I had been looking forward to a teriyaki and egg burger for years, so we had one each. Unfortunately they weren't half as nice as I remembered. After that we got on the bus into town, to the train station where we boarded a local train for Hiroshima.

One of the reasons we chose Hiroshima was that we got engaged there in 2007. We had been out to Universal Studios, taken the Shinkansen down to Hiroshima and we went to a Sushi bar. We had an amazing time at this sushi bar and Richard proposed when we got home. We really wanted to go back to the sushi bar, but several searches on Google Maps hadn't really shown anything we could identify. We knew we'd been extremely tired when we got there and had had more than a few drinks, so we weren't even sure which street it was down. Nevertheless, we were off!

We opted not to take the Shinkansen, as we weren't in any rush, and boy were we glad we did! We took a local train that changed at every stop and wound round the countryside instead of blasting straight through it. We passed down giant valleys and through rolling hills, each corner bringing a new pocket of life; a new village that jumped out at us with ornate roof tiles and allotments. In Osaka, the predominant colour of roof tiles is black or blue, in Hiroshima it's brown! Loads of the houses had shiny brown roofs, the sun dancing as it hit the rows of tiles as we sped past. I took loads of photos, unsure if they would come out due to the speed, but I had to take them anyway. The ridge tiles at the top had different family crests and dragons intertwined in them. Even with a hangover, there wasn't a place I wanted to be more.

We pulled up in the local station and arranged our luggage for the walk; the hotel we had chosen was the same one we stayed at in 2007 where Richard proposed, so we wanted to stay again, but it was quite a walk away! Thankfully, while we researched Hiroshima we had thoroughly planned how to get there, so it was plain sailing. When we got there, we found we had been put in a smoking room, but with a quick chat, they moved us and we paid the extra.

We wandered into town down the roads of Tankamachi, the area we were staying in and we found it! The Sushi bar was definitely where we had left it 4 years previous - it wasn't open but it was still there! We happily skipped off to go shopping, finding the covered shopping street, and stopping to eat somewhere that looked like Milf could eat. Only once we'd chosen from the menu did we realise that it was Bikkuri Donkey! (lit. surprise, donkey!) which was way more amusing than it should've been, not least because it reminded me of being in Japan in 2002/2003.

After a long hard afternoon of shopping, we popped back to the hotel and watched the Man Utd v. Man City game that had happened on the Sunday before we left! They showed the whole match which was a bit weird, not helped by the fact that the callled Manchester City "Manchestaa Shitty". Once we thought it was an acceptable time to go have Sushi, we wandered down and to our surprise, the chap in there recognised us and we had a lovely chat and sit while we ate everything he put in front of us.. This included some shrimp that he beheaded right in front of us, and then after we ate the raw tails, he grilled the shells and head and we ate those too!

We did mention that we wanted to do some Karaoke, so the Sushi bar owner suggested that we went over to a bar his friend owned. It turned out to be a very swanky bar, where 2 young girls and the owner's wife entertain salary men. I do kinda regret going, we spent a ton of money, but she did do the Tea Ceremony with us, which I hadn't experienced before. I ended up drinking Tanqueray 10 and several Asahi, and singing karaoke with old men, one of whom mocked me and called me a "New Half" (Transsexual), so I called him a stupid old man.

We were way more drunk that night than we ever ever have been, and when we woke up at 4pm we definitely had to decide to waste the whole day.
mofette: (Default)
Well, we'd been married for 6 months, and the time for the Honeymoon was finally upon us. We couldn't book it straight away due to money constraints and booking holiday off work, so we moved our 2 week holiday to October/November, and booked some flights to Osaka.

Rather than rush over to the airport at stupid o'clock in the morning, we booked the Travelodge in Manchester for the night before. We went for dinner in Hard Rock Cafe Manchester, and took a cab all the way out to the airport, where he dropped us off at Travelodge. When we got there, they couldn't find our booking, and it transpired that it never went through :( Panic! The lovely lady at the reception called all the other hotels in the area, while we paid a ridiculous amount for the internet, finding that one hotel had a room for £100 that night. Manchester United were playing Manchester City the next day, so everything was booked.

So after a lot of panic and tears, we got a second taxi over to the other hotel, paid and collapsed in the bed for the night.

Next morning we wandered over to the airport nice and early. We got through the check in queues with no problem at all and passed passport control ready to have a Burger King (our little tradition at Manchester Airport). Alas! There is no longer a Burger King, so we had to have overpriced scrambled egg and undercooked bacon at some little cafe thing. They didn't even have any balsamic or lemon pepper! >:(

We had never experienced Duty Free before, so we asked for some guidance from the chap in the shop. He told us we could have a litre of spirits each and 500 cigarettes. As we don't smoke, we picked a bottle of Bombay Sapphire, and a bottle of Bacardi Oakheart. He put them in a bag with the receipts and sent us on our way.

After grabbing a paper and calling my mum to say goodbye, we boarded a plane for Paris Charles De Gaulles. Neither of us had ever flew through Paris before, so it was quite exciting, and there were enough seats free that we could sit together. The lovely lady beside us talked to us and congratulated us on our Honeymoon, and we had touched down in Paris before we even realised.

Paris airport isn't the nicest. There are shuttle coaches from one terminal to the other, but the bossy way that they make you board, instead of assuming everyone isn't an idiot was a bit annoying. We only wanted to go from D>E or something like that, but apparently they have to hold our hand all the way. At least we didn't have to pick up our luggage.

Unfortunately, at passport control in Paris, the Duty Free that we had picked up in Manchester caused a stir. They hadn't sealed the bags!! The people at Paris were most unhappy with this, and sent Richard back to check it into the luggage in the hold. It took him over an hour to get through the service desk and back through passport control, and as it turned out, it had cost him &eur;30 for the box, and &eur;70 to check it into the hold as we'd already checked 2 bags! This was absolutely ridiculous, not the fault of Paris CDG at all, but Manchester, who hadn't sealed it. I was furious and I wish that Richard had just left the two bottles (they only cost us £20) but we were now around £190 out of pocket so far on the honeymoon, with the hotel room and now this!

The plane we were due to get on had been well into the boarding process by this point, but luckily was running well behind, so we joined the queue and got to our seats as by no means the last passengers. We had opted for 2 seats in the middle 4, as having to climb over/be climbed over by the 3rd person on the window seats is never fun. The flight to Japan was uneventful - we slept, watched some films (Pirates of the Caribbean 4, Little Miss Sunshine, Fargo) and drank some wine. The food was standard KLM fare, nothing too exciting but not terrible either, and as we touched down in Japan we were only slightly tired. Passport control was fine this time (last time, we'd filled the forms in pencil as that was what we were given, but that was wrong so we had to re-queue) and I actually got to go through a line that said "Native Japanese Only" as the foreigner line was crowded. I'll probably never do that again!

The first place we'd decided to stay was Onomichi, which was 3/4 of the way to Hiroshima. We should probably have thought better about travelling so far just after touching down, but hey, it was too late now. We got our JR passes, booked our Shinkansen ticket, and got on the train!

We changed at Fukuyama and transferred to the JR line, with a 20 minute walk to the hotel ahead of us. It wasn't too bad, we did end up on the wrong road a couple of times, but once we'd seen Mos Burger, the hotel was practically next door. Upon arrival the friendly staff at the Kokusai Hotel allowed us to check in straight away and go straight to our room. Once checked in we wandered out again, just to have a little look at the area. A little way down the road was a Kappa Zushi, which is a favourite fast food sushi-go-round of mine, so we mentally booked that for dinner and went back for a nap. On the way back we called at a convenience store, and there was a Hello Kitty raffle thing that had a ton of items in Pink Leopard Print, so I had a go and won some really cute fluffy socks!

When it got to dinner time, we went to Kappa Zushi, where the locals looked at us with wonder, small children made no attempt to hide their stares and the old people smiled at us unreservedly. Oh how much I had missed you, Japan! The best thing about Kappa Zushi was that they have changed the ordering system, and it's now not delivered by a waiter/waitress, a shinkansen model comes along the track beside you, and delivers the plates to your seat! We ate our fill and headed back to the hotel, where we went to the bar, taking all of the pamphlets we'd collected with us.

When we'd checked into the hotel, we had been given some vouchers for a whiskey sour (whiskey and soda) so we started off with those, then moved on to Guinness and bourbon. The waiter was very nice and started asking us questions like "Why have you come to Onomichi" and the like. He also showed us the best place in Onomichi to have Onomichi Ramen (which is very famous!) so we drew that on a map, planned tomorrow's excursion and retired to bed.

The next morning we woke up pretty early and went to a convenience store to get some breakfast. We had decided we were going to do the tour of the temples in Onomichi, so we set off at around 8am! We stopped halfway to eat our breakfast, and the heat was still sweltering so we sat and had a rest, admiring the tiny little winding streets that we were lost in. It's really a gorgeous thing, with a really safe path as it's been resurfaced to attract tourists. Once we got to the cable cars (called a Ropeway in Japan) we decided to ride up to the top of the hillside to see the walk of Buddhism. We didn't understand any of the writing (I couldn't be bothered to translate handwriting) but boy was it pretty!

After the walk, we took the ropeway back down (I didn't realise that poor Milf was terrified) and wandered over the main road, to Shukaen for Ramen. It must've been around 11:45, and there wasn't a queue when we got there, so we paid for our Ramen and received a token and waited for the deliciousness. It was everything I had imagined and more! We slurped our way through the bowls and left, only to find outside that the queue went right down the street! I guess we turned up at exactly the right time.

We went for a walk through the shopping area, purchasing a couple of mementos, and we stopped off for a coffee at a gorgeous little coffee shop which had a Mexican theme. The lady working there was amazing, and she taught me how to say "chilli pepper" in Japanese, while serving us the most amazing Jamaican coffee. There were several visitors came and went while we were there, and a lot of them commented on my tattoo, and congratulated us on our honeymoon. She took a couple of drinks off the bill for us, and handed me a cute little sachet of chilli flakes with sesame for seasoning my food.

We returned to the hotel and got changed for dinner. We had decided to go to an Izakaya to eat, as you don't actually have to eat much, you can just drink and we were still rather full from earlier. We researched some in the brochures, before deciding on one near the station. When we got there, it turned out to be a seafood izakaya and poor Milf was never going to eat anything there! We got given 2 bowls of octopus and 2 beers and it cost us &jpy;2000! (£20) so we left and went to the one closer to the station that we'd seen before. Boy were we glad we did! We had a few beers, some amazing food and then we noticed the "SUPER JOCKY" posters that advertised 3 normal glasses worth of beer! Whoops, 2 of those later we'd finally had enough, so we walked back to the hotel (Milf ran ahead early as he needed a wee, so I took blurry drunk photos of everything I could find) and we went back up to the bar.

In the bar there was one guy who knew a fair bit of English, so we sat with him and talked, while I sampled gin after gin and Milf had some whiskey bought for him. Massive mistake said our hangover the next morning...

January 2017

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